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DIY, DIFM, or In-Between

photo shows a picture of a desktop with wooden letters saying "DIY," scissors, block, beads, and other craft supplies

In many industries, people distinguish between DIY and DIFM: “do-it-yourself” versus “do-it-for-me.” The same is true of investing and financial planning.

Whether you are trying to build a deck or a retirement portfolio, the internet is full of pertinent information to help you on your way. You may not be a carpenter, but you may have the tools and skills to build a deck. Add some information, time, and motivation, perhaps that new deck will appear in your backyard through your own efforts.

A successful DIYer has all of those things. It does not always work out, but when it does, someone has used their own skills and efforts to do something many others pay for.

When the do-it-for-me or DIFM route works out, people trade money for the time and abilities of professionals in order to get what they want and need. I’ve mentioned before that I mow my lawn with a checkbook—a textbook case of DIFM.

When it comes to plans and financial planning, we believe that is either a DIY thing—you are the expert on your plans and planning—or a collaborative process of discovery. We may support your efforts, help you define or refine what you’re trying to do, maybe do some arithmetic, but you are still the expert.

On the investment front, though, we operate on a DIFM basis. We strive to grow the buckets: we research investments and manage portfolios for those who do not want to go the do-it-yourself route. DIYers have plenty of resources available other places; we’re busy trying to grow the buckets for those who say “do it for me.”

(Of course, our perspectives on everything from planning to investing are available online 24/7 to anyone with an interest in reading our blogs, listening to the podcasts, or watching the videos. There are some DIYers who check in regularly there. But our one-to-one efforts all go to investment services on a DIFM basis.)

Anybody could be a DIYer, in any number of areas… but it doesn’t mean you have to DIY. Clients, if you would like to talk about this or anything else, please email us or call.


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Play the audio version of this post below:

Birthday!

© Can Stock Photo / soupstock

One of my most cherished goals in life has been to get old without being old.

The first half of that is marked by having birthdays. These are signs of progress. Some people I knew do not have birthdays any more, and I wish they would. Getting older is a good thing, especially compared to the alternative.

The second part, not being old, is trickier. The plan to work to age 92 is surely part of the equation. While some of my peers are coasting toward the finish line, we are focused on the decades ahead. We work on figuring out how to serve you more effectively, how to be better. This plan is giving us a sense of vibrancy and growth one typically finds in younger people.

My birthday is coming up. Here is what it means, in years: 28 more years until retirement. Save the date: May 27, 2048. We are going to have a party.

The mindset is one piece of it. I won’t detail the other pieces. They are boring, and everyone already knows them: the five things you try to be healthy at in order to live a long time. In this new, more boring phase of life for me, I have time for those things.

Please note, I am not prescribing this working lifestyle to anyone else. I may have been dropped on my head as a child, I don’t know what makes me think this way. It goes back a long way. Good thing so many of you retired younger than 92, or plan to, so I have work to do!

A debt of gratitude goes to you who employ me in this gratifying work. The plan will not pan out without you.

(We are planning to hire more younger-generation people. You will not need to worry about declining capacity on my part.)

Clients, if you would like to talk about this or anything else, please email us or call.